Across the country, a poll found 67 per cent of Canadians support mandatory masking for all indoor public spaces, compared to 58 per cent just over two weeks ago. CP photo

Canadians are reluctantly wearing masks as support for mandatory masking climbs

Poll: Only 55 per cent of Canadians are wearing masks regularly

TORONTO — As fears of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases increase, many Canadians are reluctantly donning masks to stop the spread of the virus.

This is according to a new Angus Reid poll which found only 55 per cent of Canadians are wearing masks regularly when they leave home.

The other 45 per cent either wear masks rarely or not at all.

Every province except for Alberta and Saskatchewan registered over 70 per cent support for mandatory masking laws — the former at 60 per cent and the latter with just 55 per cent support for the measure.

Only a quarter respondents said their reason for not wearing a mask was that they forgot to bring one, while 74 per cent pointed to discomfort, lack of concern about catching COVID-19, a perceived ineffectiveness of masks, or simply mimicking others not wearing them.

The poll also found that men were much less likely to wear masks than women, and a majority of women across all age brackets reported wearing one when they leave home.

This is despite the poll’s finding that national concern over the threat posed by COVID-19 is at its highest since April.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney addressed the reluctance of some Albertans to wear a mask at a press briefing in Red Deer today, noting the potential for further economic damage if the province needs to go into lockdown again.

“I hear people say that mask wearing is a globalist idea. I will remind them that I was advocating mask use when the World Health Organization — a global organization — was recommending against it,” Kenney said.

“My pitch to those folks, if they’re upset about mask usage, the alternative will inevitably be more widespread suspensions of economic activity if we get a second outbreak.”

A different poll on COVID-19 from Leger and the Association of Canadian Studies found a nearly 10 per cent increase in support for masking between June 26 and July 12.

Across the country, the Leger poll found 67 per cent of Canadians support mandatory masking for all indoor public spaces, compared to 58 per cent just over two weeks ago.

Only 27 per cent were against the measure and six per cent were not sure.

On Saturday, Quebec became the first province to mandate masks inside public spaces across the region.

Similar orders had already been issued on the municipal level in various cities across Ontario, with Toronto enacting the order on July 7.

And as the city prepares to enter the Stage 3 reopening phase, the Ontario Medical Association has asked the provincial government to keep indoor bars closed, saying it presents “significant risk” for potential outbreaks.

“When people consume alcohol, inhibitions are lowered, making them much less likely to practice physical distancing, proper masking behaviours and good hand hygiene,” OMA President Dr. Samantha Hill said.

A number of incidents in Toronto have highlighted the divide over masking and physical distancing rules, with some bar and restaurant owners bending public health bylaws in order to serve more customers or run illegal parties.

Earlier this week, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced an investigation into popular King St. restaurant MARBL due to a video that emerged on social in which dozens of patrons could be seen crammed into a semi-indoor space while celebrating a birthday.

The video, which also showed staff failing to wear masks, prompted outrage online.

At the beginning of July, another King St. bar — Goldie — lost its liquor license after it was revealed the establishment hosted a club night for 125 people last month.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

The Under $100 Art Market is asking artists interested in selling their art to fill out and submit the online form. Photo courtesy Maureen MacKenzie.
Lacombe’s Under $100 Art Market returns for the second year

The market will be held during this year’s Light Up the Night festival

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Alisha Bryan holds a handful of poppy sticks at the poppy laying ceremony on Oct. 28. (Alannah Page/Lacombe Express)
Remembrance Day will look a little different this year for Lacombe

The Lacombe Legion is taking COVID-19 precautions for people who want to pay their respects.

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

A man runs across the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘No manual or checklist:’ Yukon ditching fall time change this year

The territory decided to adopt year-round daylight time in March

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement regarding vaccine procurement, in Toronto, on Wednesday, Aug., 5, 2020. Despite its status as an artificial intelligence hub, Canada has yet to develop a regulatory regime to deal with issues of privacy, discrimination and accountability to which AI systems are prone, prompting calls for regulation from businesses and experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Canada crawling toward AI regulatory regime, but experts say reform is urgent

5 million images of shoppers collected without consent at Canadian malls

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie "The Name of the Rose" at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

He died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas

(Photo submitted)
Rimbey resident avid author despite Parkinson’s

Wins more accolades for her writing

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

(Pixabay photo)
Spoooky, scaaaary: The ultimate Halloween-in-quarantine playlist

All the costumes, trick-or-treating and spooky-season fun is essentialy off the table due to COVID-19

Most Read